A step-by-step tutorial on the broken rib stitch knitting pattern. How to knit it flat or in the round.
Do you want to add a little bit of texture to your knitting without losing stretchiness? Then the broken rib stitch knitting pattern might be what you are looking for. It’s a simple 2-row repeat that only requires you to know the knit and the purl stitch.
The broken rib stitch is based on the classic rib stitch. It’s maybe a tiny bit less stretchy and you will notice a tiny bit of curling on the edges if you don’t pick a selvage stitch (like a 3-stitch garter stitch edge).
Strictly speaking, it is not a reversible pattern either. However, as the wrong side is quite lovely, it’s certainly an option to use it for a scarf or blanket, as long as you observe some basic methods to prevent curling.
Let’s dive right into it, eh?
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Instructions for the broken rib stitch pattern
You can knit the broken rib stitch with any number of stitches but for a symmetrical outcome, an odd number is recommended. Here's the repeat for flat projects:
- Row 1 (RS): knit across
- Row 2 (WS): *p1, k1*, p1
- Repeat these two rows over and over again
- Cast on an odd number of stitches using a moderately stretchy cast-on of your choice. As a beginner, a standard longtail cast-on around two needles will be more than fine.
- Turn the work around, remove the second needle, and knit across the whole first row.
- Turn your work around, keep the yarn in front of your work, and start the second row with a purl stitch.
- Bring the yarn to the back and knit one stitch.
- Continue alternating between knit and purl stitches for the rest of the second row, ending with a knit stitch.
- Repeat steps 2-5 until your project reached the desired length.
You may consider casting on 3 additional stitches to create nice and neat symmetrical edges. In this case, the repeat changes to:
Broken rib stitch in the round
Of course, you can also knit it in the round. This pattern could look very lovely for a hat, if you ask me. The best part, the repeat is almost the same:
- Cast on an even number of stitches
- Round 1: knit across
- Round 2: *k1, p1*
- repeat rounds 1+2 until you reached the desired length
Here at the end, there’s one more important tip. No matter if you are knitting this knitting stitch pattern in the round or flat, a lot of knitters struggle with their tension. I have a full tutorial on knitting neater ribbings that may be able to help you understand why some stitches look a bit looser than others.
6 thoughts on “How to knit the broken rib stitch”
Thank you for this beautiful tutorial!
Would you have any advice or recommendations on how to vertical seam this pattern?
I am attempting to make a little draw string bag knitted in a long rectangle that folds in half & seamed up the sides so that both the short edges of the rectangle make the top of bag.
Pattern works broken rib for 1.5 inches, add eyelet row, work broken rib another 9 inches, add 2nd eyelet row, then work a final 1.5 inches. bind off, sew side seams.
I am very new to knitting, & not sure what the best method would be for the seaming part.
I would probably add a 1 stitch garter stitch selvage on either end and seam with the mattress stitch for garter stitch (tutorial available here on my blog)
But no guarantees – i haven’t tried this myself as I would simply knit it in the round. This would just be the first thing I’d try
Could you please show me how to measure the Broken Rib stitch?
I’m trying to knit a sweater called “Storyline Cardigan” for my granddaughter and never used this stitch before. I only know how to measure stockinette stitch gauge swatches.
I can’t start the sweater until I have the correct number of stitches and rows. I’m using size 7 needles and must have 17 sts / 25 rows.
Hope to hear from you.
Not sure I understand this question. Knit your swatch, block it, and then measure it with a tape? If you don’t know how to read your knitting or count stitches, then use the search function of this blog and you’ll find quite some tutorials!
I am making a baby jumper and on the knit round I am doing increases either side of the raglan stitches. The pattern says on the next round start and end on a knit stitch before and after the raglan stitches. This doesn’t seem to be producing the pattern. Do I need to change something on this round each time to take into the increases?
I am sorry. I cannot help you with other designers patterns. I have no clue how it’s supposed to look. Sorry. Anoushka. Please ask the respective designer.